AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Saint Anselm College baseball team picked up a 6-2 victory to open Wednesday's doubleheader at Paine College, but fell to the host Lions in walk-off fashion in the second game, 10-9.
Saint Anselm stands at 2-7 after the split and will use Thursday as a travel day before taking on Kutztown at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Mar. 8 in Wilson, N.C. The Hawks will also battle Mercyhurst at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday before concluding the lengthy road trip with a 10:30 a.m. tilt versus Lock Haven on Sunday.
Senior Preston Yerrington (Manchester, N.H.) fanned a career-high nine batters and classmate Tyler McKeon (Rutland, Mass.) drove in three with a bases-clearing triple in the visiting half of the second inning. Junior Jared Ferris (Methuen, Mass.) came on in the seventh inning, closing out the victory by retiring three of the four batters he faced.
In the second game of the day, the Hawks overcame a 7-1 deficit to tie the game at nine in the top of the seventh inning. Helping the cause was a two-run home run by catcher Max Silverman (Westford, Mass.), the first of his career, but the home team used a walk-off double in the bottom of the seventh to take the one-run victory over Saint Anselm.
Game 1 – Saint Anselm 6, Paine 2 (BOX SCORE)
The Hawks broke it open in the top of the fourth inning as a back-to-back doubles by freshman Mike Pierro (North Andover, Mass.) and classmate Drew Boli (Falmouth, Mass.) set the tone for the big inning. The latter's double, his first collegiate hit, plated Pierro with the game's first run. Freshman Enzo Merlonghi (Monroe, Conn.) and classmate Peyton Goodrich (Portsmouth, N.H.) followed with walks before McKeon's big double down the left field line cleared the bases.
An unearned run in the bottom of the inning by Paine was later made up by freshman Jack Dunklee (Wilbraham, Mass.), who scampered home on a passed ball by the Lions catcher. The Hawks tacked on another run thanks to a Dunklee sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth inning.
Yerrington pitched six innings, allowing only one earned run while yielding only four hits to earn his first collegiate victory. Ferris allowed one hit for the Hawks, securing the win for the visitors.
Senior Oscar Larranaga (Tucson, Ariz.) picked up his 50th career Saint Anselm hit in the sixth inning.
Game 2 – Paine 10, Saint Anselm 9 (Box Score)
Freshman Chris Schworer (Medfield, Mass.) drove in the Hawks leadoff batter, Larranaga, with a groundout to short in the top of the first inning after Larranaga started the contest with a base hit.
Paine scored seven runs across the next four innings, building a game-high 7-1 lead through four complete innings.
The Hawks countered with four runs in the top of the fifth inning. McKeon had a two-RBI double and sophomore Matthew Butigian (Plainview, N.Y.) had a two-RBI hit of his own, capping a strong inning. Paine got one run back in the bottom of the inning, but runs scored in the top of the sixth inning thanks to an RBI single from freshman Matt Collins (Beverly, Mass.) and a passed ball that scored McKeon.
Down by a 9-7 score, the Hawks tied the game at nine in the top of the seventh inning with a two-run home run by Silverman. The Hawks threatened with another hit in the inning and further extended the rally after a miscue on defense by the Lions. The Paine pitcher, however, was able to retire the final Hawks batter with runners on the corners.
In the home half of the seventh inning, Hawks hurler JJ Dunn (Nashua, N.H.) gave up a leadoff single but then got the next batter to strike out. After a fielder's choice, a double to right field scored the leadoff batter to end the game in walk-off fashion.
Freshman Andy Grygorcewicz (Northampton, Mass.) got the start for Saint Anselm, pitching two-and-two-thirds innings while punching out four batters. Classmate Shawn Morrow (Melrose, Mass.) relieved Grygorcewicz, striking out three, with Dunn coming on in relief, striking out three and ending a huge Paine scoring threat in the bottom of the fifth inning.